The Wars of the Kingdom of Van Against Assyria and Cimmerians

The Wars of the Kingdom of Van

In 743 BC, the powerful army of Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III invaded the Kingdom of Van. Tiglath-Pileser III passed from west to east, plundering the country, and laid siege to the capital of the Kingdom of Van Tushpa. Unable to capture the powerful citadel, Tiglath-Pileser III destroyed the city and left the country.

The invasion of the Assyrians caused great damage to the Kingdom of Van. Under Sarduri II’s successor King Rusa I (735-713 BCE), the country began to recover. In place of the destroyed Tupsha, Rusa I built a new capital, naming it Rusakhinili.

Along the coast of Lake Sevan, powerful fortresses were founded. In a military campaign east of Sevan and towards the area where Araks River debouches into Kura River, Rusa I conquered 19 countries. However, the success of King Rusa I ended there.

In 714 BC, the Kingdom of Van was ravaged by Assyrian forces. King of Assyria Sargon II marched with his army through the central regions of the Kingdom of Van, destroying everything in his path. On the way back, Sargon II invaded and plundered the city of Musasir. Assyrians destroyed and devastated the famous temple of the god Haldi in the city.

It was the last military clash between Van Kingdom and Assyria. Until the end of the 7th century BC, the relationship between Assyria and the Kingdom of Van would no longer exacerbate. The invasion of the warlike tribes of the Cimmerians from the Caucasian ridge forced both sides to fight against a common enemy.

The kings of the Kingdom of Van succeeded in stopping the Cimmerians from advancing southward. Having settled in the west of Cappadocia (in connection with this, the Armenians call this region Gamirk), the Cimmerians raided Assyria.

In the 7th century BC, the Cimmerians were replaced by a new threat – the numerous Scythian tribes.

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